11 June 2011

Darul Akhyar (Pt 2) – Who drew the plans ?

a) Search for peace and enlightenment.

Twenty two years ago we felt we had had enough of living like nomads and had seen enough of the bright lights. We deliberated and decided to settle down in Kuala Terengganu, years before it was declared a world-class city with Monsoon Cup and all.

We thought it was very fortunate that we already had a plot of road-side land just south of the town and within sight of the beautiful Masjid Terapung of KT. The mosque often imports imams from overseas for tarawikh prayers in the months of Ramadan. How nice it would be to be praying there.

Plans were drawn and duly submitted; but just as we were about to get the final approval the authority decided to widen the road in front. If we were to go ahead we had to set back and down-size our house, and be happy with hardly any front yard. Life would no longer be ideal with limited space around and with the likely dust and traffic noise.

With a heavy heart we had to abandon the thought of a quiet life near a beautifully designed mosque. Further south we went in search of an ideal site; this time a land with sea-frontage. That part of the coast-line is beautiful, with the enchanting view of Pulau Kapas, and within a short distance from the taking off point to the island. We could entertain visitors to the island, a pleasant thought. Unfortunately, such land as we were looking for was hard to find for sale, forcing us to move elsewhere. We decide to go north of town.

Again we thought we were fortunate when we finally came close to clinching a deal for a two-acre ground by the sea, and this time it was not very far from the airport. How convenient it would be for us to get flights to KL, and to be receiving and sending off our guests. But this was not to be as well. Just before we decided to close the deal, we came to know that the DCA (Department of Civil Aviation) would object to any plan for a two-storey building in its vicinity. So that put paid to that plan and dream. We were back to the square one.

The search for land now moved further north and, by divine intervention, I met Ghawi, an old classmate from my days at the Madrasah Sultan Zainal Abidin (MSZA), a good forty years earlier. It was an unexpected reunion of sort, and to our delight and good fortune this old friend, a well-known figure in that area, owned some prime plots of lands in that part of town. He took us around to view at least six sites, and it surely did not take us long to fancy two plots, each about an acre, separated by a long straight coastal road. One plot faces the open sea with the view of Pulau Redang and Pulau Bedong in the distance, and the second plot is right across the dividing road.

When I informed Ghawi of our interest in the two pieces of land, he casually asked why I had wanted the second piece of land across the road as well. To that question I gave a spontaneous answer - Today, I live to wonder how the idea was put into my head - Casually and as a matter of fact I answered, “Oh, buat tempat mengajar budak budak.” (Oh, just a place to teach children). Of course I had wished to help tutoring village children in a broad sense, but never a proper building on an acre of ground.

What was to happen next was simply amazing. When I asked Ghawi what price he would put on the property, he looked straight into my eyes and with a straight face said, “Ustaz, bayarlah apa yang utaz rasa nak bayar (Ustaz, just pay me whatever you like to pay ; the term ‘ustaz’ is often used locally to address with respect a person who teaches religion.) Incidentally,I do not know of anyone else who ever called me ‘ustaz’ because I never was.

It turned out to be a strange business negotiation, I kept pressing him to quote a price and he adamantly wanted me to pay whatever I chose. Ultimately I named a price which he readily accepted without batting an eye lid.

My friend Ghawi died six years ago. He lived long enough to see what had become of his land. The man had no greed over the sale of his property. And today whenever I remember him I offer him Al Fathihah, a small way to compensate for his generosity. He has a share in my Almanar.

Because of Ghawi we are where we are, peaceful and happy. We have Nuri (our enlightenment) and Almanar (The beacon – the light house that helps to give guidance and correct direction.) And we have enough activities to occupy our time.


b) Chances and probabilities

I must apologise for writing a thesis on my search for a place to retire. With that I wish to highlight how ‘destiny’ or 'fate' works in its wondrous way. That was TWENTY years ago.

For all the length ( Terengganu has 225 kilometer of coastal stretch ) and breath of Terengganu, the religious authority of this state has chosen to site Darul Akhyar on Jalan Batu Rakit Pantai, the very road our Almanar is, hardly one kilometer away. Above all, one objective of this pilot project is to help educate needy children in the state, the very objective I dreamt of for Almanar nearly 20 years ago - except that Almanar is to restricted to serve the community in its vicinity.

As if that is no enough, a new secondary school was opened four months ago. It is about five kilometers away and has enough places to easily accommodate the bulk of pupils accommodated in Darul Akhyar.

The mathematical side of me wonders - what are the chances and probabilities for the above events to happen?

Should there not be a Great Planner orchestrating the complicated routes taken by Almanar, Darul Akhyar and a secondary school to finally be so close to one another with education as the main theme?


I have already met the first Principal/Warden of Darul Akhyar, a man with many years of experience running a large orphanage in the state. In the course of conversation he declared,“ I want to prove that these children, given the helps they need, will make good in life.” (How this reminded me of my declared objective when Almanar Trust was dreamt of 20 years ago.)To achieve what he was aiming for, he needed help. When Pakcik offered assistance from Almanar, his spontaneous response was, “ Orang mengantuk disorongkan bantal.” (A sleepy head is being offered a pillow.)

To conclude ……

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan


sintaicharles said...

God will always show the way to those who work for a noble cause.

Cat-from-Sydney said...

And you said you don't have enough materials for a book? hmmm???? purrr....meow!

Pak Idrus said...

PokCik Hassan, thanks for narrating the history of your Al Manar and Nuri. Had it not been for the Internet and Blogging we would not have met and eventually got invited to Nuri, an enchanting country home, the dream of many; and yours a reality.

Carry on the good works Sir. Asmah and I are indeed glad to have met Salmah and you. Take care.

Al-Manar said...


Good work does not stop short wothin own creed and belief. When I say 'kemanusiaan' it goes beyond the normal known boundaries. Ad HE will show us the way.

Al-Manar said...


All of us have materials to write a book about. But who cares about one's personal life? Too much of it, full of personal achevements is nothing more than the need to satsify ones ego. Masuk dalam bakul angkat sendiri - a cat watching its own fluffy ail with awe and admiration.

Al-Manar said...

Pak Idrus,

You are too generous with your compliments. Thank you. It is a wonder that we have a chance to meet you and Asmah, with just a couple in Kuantan as mutual friend. The blog did the lot of good for us.

I must admit lacking the creativity in you. You can do your own woodwork, carving etc. I remember the wooden staircase, the pride of your town house.

We will meet again oanother day, insya Allah. I will be responding to your email soon.

Wan Sharif said...

At time.. history can lend us better understanding of past events! I do not see any need for you to apologize on that issue..;).
Your not being successful in building you dream house near Masjid terapung.. should have some hikmah.. I recalled I have some relatives who are good at providing paid tuition there.. in the current place, there are more needy students.. more challenges and frustrations too ;).
Darul Akhyar.. it seems that you are also part of the divine plan..;)). It is probably a very good place for you to share your expertise with younger volunteers /teachers so that should you feel enough is enough there will be ample talented and skilled workforce to carry on the good work :)

ninotaziz said...

What seems a lifetime to us, is all but part of qada and qadar. Its hikmah revealed in time when we can truly appreciate it.

Thank you for helping the rest of us appreciate the lesson in life.

Ummie said...

Darul Akhyar & Almanar Trust to work hand-in-hand or under one roof?
HIS planning we can never know.

Al-Manar said...

Ayah Wang,

Can you not relate this somewhat to your 'project' which has run from one handicap to another? There ire reasons for all these but we, human, fail to understand - frustrated and annoyed. Our role is to identify what we think is good and keep on trying. The end result is HIS, in accordance with a greter overall plan HE has. Believing in this should ease our mind Ayah Wang.

Al-Manar said...


Exactly that, dear girl,qada and qadar. You see how it worked on us all and you no exception - something that, without being told, I would find it hard to imagine to have happened ; but it did, ending with joy and happiness. This ought to strengthen our trust in HIM.

Al-Manar said...


The plan is satisfactory to me. I maintain my independence, accommodating Darul Akhyar's as much as possible. Children will be transported over to Almanar. In a week's time, when we have started, we will know of any difficulties. Hopefully everything will work. If there is a will there is a way, right?

Unknown said...

dear pakchik, it's been a while. i never miss your posts. i find something new to learn everytime i read them. i have been pretty quiet here. but you and your almanar are never far from my heart and mind.

Anonymous said...

Dear Pakcik

How wonderful that things have worked out so well for you and Salmah with His help. Am suffering from jetleg after 12 days swing through beautiful Morocco, will email you soon.

Salam to you both

Temuk said...

Semoga segala yang lebih baik berterusan mendatangi tuan dan menyinari amal ibadah tuan.

Al-Manar said...


Of course I am elated with your kind words. Hope every one in the family is well. Perhaps there are now signs of new-comers in your family, especially from the one wedded a few months ago.

Al-Manar said...


What, swingging your clubs in Morocco. Hope you will tell me how this Morocco trip came about. You see, if you have your own blog we all can read all about your exploits, with or without golf clubs.

Al-Manar said...

Waalaikum-Salaam. Terima kasih doa yang baik untuk kitac semua.

Saya belum membuat catatan trentang
'menyimpang' ke negeri Perak itu. Banyak yang hendak dikata kan kerana sungguh banyak kenangan saya dinegeri itu - hampir 50 tahun dahulu!

Zendra-Maria said...


Al-Manar said...


How nice it is to see you around again. And you have put in a new posting as well. So the first hectic spell is over - until the next one.

Anonymous said...

Dear Pakcik

No I have not been swinging my golf clubs at all for nearly two decades now after achieving my dream of getting a single handicap status. It was more like swinging my tongue in Morocco to improve my spoken arabic language with real arabs, my new passion. My own blog? Too lazy to start and am quite content in reading others' stories!!!


Al-Manar said...

How wonderful that is! I wish I were not so tied up to go round doing something like that.

Unknown said...

dear pakchik, the large is becoming larger. alhamdulillah.

Al-Manar said...


Ask yourself who the real PLANNER is, and we all say Alhamdulillah. Shouldn't this be the subject of your first posting?

kaykuala said...

Dear Pak Cik,
A trip down memory lane. A lesson in love and dedication. The hand of ALLAH the Almighty is always there in making it achievable. Best of everything for more in future.


Al-Manar said...

Akhi Hank,

Indeed HE, the great PLANNER,is there always. We can always rely on HIM for help. I hope the story gives a picture of what happens in reality, something that, without pondering on it, we do not notice, not thanking Him.

Salaam to you and family